Yesterday Falk Reimann of Q-Cells AG (FRA:QCE 69.86€) acknowledged that Q-Cells cannot provide Timminco Limited’s (TSX: TIM $22.15) investors or the media with any verifiable information on Timminco’s R&D or capital expenditures, variable cost, cost of goods sold or pricing data in order for them to make any judgments concerning the value of Timminco’s shares. Furthermore, Q-Cells could not comment on Timminco’s potential to generate earnings or ability to deliver material acceptable to Q-Cells or its other customer’s profitably. Q-Cells has not agreed to help investors determine if Timminco’s published earnings projections are fair, reasonable or attainable.
Specifically, Q-Cells has not provided any party with any information about the source or cost of Timminco’s raw materials, the number of times that Timminco puts its material through its process, the amount of labor, energy and slag it uses each time Timminco puts its material through its process nor the cost of this labor, energy or slag, or the amount of silicon that is lost during the production process. Furthermore, Q-Cells has not provided any investor or reporter with any opinion concerning Timminco’s patent application including omitted relevant prior patents or publications.
Finally, Mr. Reimann acknowledged that Q-Cells is not involved with Timminco’s production process, capacity utilization, disclosures on individual batch purities, raw material procurement or selection of materials to be reprocessed, stockpiled for future refinement or selected to be delivered to one customer or another.
Investors should be aware that Q-Cells’ controlling shareholder, Good Energies, has directly invested in at least one technology based metallurgical solar grade silicon company, which unlike Timminco is not burdened with a legacy commodity silicon plant. This investment was made at a valuation of less than 5% of Timminco’s entire current market value.
Timminco is a 30 year old producer of commodity grade silicon. It produces 50,000 MT per year. The industry produces over 5 million MT per year. Timminco has repeatedly used Q-Cells in its attempt to gain creditability for their claim to have successfully eliminated 97% of the industry leading solar grade silicon suppliers’ capital expenditures while at the same time reducing variable cost by approximately 50%. Timminco makes these claims while having spent less than 1% of its competitor’s research and development expenditures and cutting development time by 90%. Furthermore, Timminco claims that its process is new. However, Timminco’s recently available patent application reveals a crude high temperature oxidation process that uses turbulence and large amounts of slag and omits significant prior art that itself is known to be uneconomical.